Gas prices hit a four year low last week, with the price to fill ‘er up plunging by a full dollar per gallon since May of this year, a new survey has found. In fact, the price for a gallon of regular grade gasoline dipped by 12 cents just in the two-week period since the last nationwide survey.
The dip in gas prices comes just in time for holiday travel season, as Americans pile into their cars and hit the road to head to grandma’s house for Christmas, or at least the airport to catch a flight to the Bahamas, leading to a potential spike in fossil fuel consumption nationwide.
Based on 2013 statistics, Americans burn through about 369 million gallons of gas every day, or a total consumption of 135 billion gallons last year alone.
At the rate the world is consuming gas, there are currently just over 45 trillion gallons of gasoline left in the world, including all of the fossil fuel that had yet to be unearthed and converted to gas. That’s enough gas to last 39 years.
So children born this year can expect to live in a world without gasoline before they turn 40-years-old.
In the United States, gas consumption in 2013 was just 6 percent less than the record high for American gas guzzling, set in 2007 — the year before the Great Recession hit, sending gas prices plummeting.
Why have gas prices hit a four year low as 2014 speeds toward a close? Economists say that while oil production has been stepped up worldwide, particularly in the United States and Canada, consumer demand has taken a dive, likely due to the recession combined with prohibitively high gas prices.
The combination of increased supply and lowered demand drives down prices, according to the most basic principles of economics.
The gaining strength of the United States dollar has also made importing gas cheaper for American firms.
In the Lundberg survey, the lowest gas prices found nationwide turned up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where gas dipped to $2.38 per gallon at some pumps. The cheapest state to fill the tank is Missouri, where the average price of a gallon of regular is just $2.44.
Oil industry experts say that prices should continue to fall, even below the current four-year low, as December rolls along.
“We may see a few more pennies drop before Christmas,” said Trilby Lundberg, who conducted the survey finding as prices at a four year low. “All this presupposes that crude oil prices don’t bounce up significantly in the near future.”